Whether a student is full-time or part-time, some have families and other responsibilities to take care of throughout their day; The Garnero Child Development Center on campus is one factor to help take the stress off of a student’s shoulders.
The Garnero Child Development Center opened in September 2007 provides students, faculty and community members with a home for their children during work and classes.
The GCDC enrolls children on a space-available basis, but priority is given to both full-time and part-time students. The remaining space is then given to children of faculty and community members.
Usually, parents will receive a call inviting them to enroll their child. Once paperwork has been finished and an orientation completed with Site Director Ann Slaughter, the child can attend the center.
The GCDC is only licensed for children between one and five years old. They are not licensed for infants because of different space and staffing requirements.
Children are well taken care of by the experienced staff; the GCDC has six full-time core staff members and one full-time teacher that also serves as a mentor, pedagogical leader and site supervisor. The staff also have specific educational requirements before being hired.
“The core staff members are required to have ongoing professional development and training,” Slaughter said. “Our accreditation requires 20 hours of training and professional development per calendar year.”
The GCDC also hires hourly employees that act as assistants in the classroom; some are current or former students as well as community members. They are required to have experience and education in early childhood education or a combination of the two. A certain number of hours for development are also required.
Work study students are also involved with assisting in the kitchen or office.
The GCDC also has nine full-day Head Start slots on the campus. The additional benefits for the Head Start Program include home visits and goal-setting meetings with teachers twice a year, an on-staff Family Advocate to make sure the family is able to provide all kinds of care and additional developmental and health screenings for the children.
The cost varies for the program depending largely on income status of the parents; the rates also vary between full-time and part-time students, faculty and staff and community members. Another factor used in calculating cost is whether or not the family qualifies for the state food program.
Currently there are 19 toddlers with an average age of two years and three months old as well as 28 preschoolers with an average age of four years old.
The GCDC follows a USDA meal program that includes breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. Cooks onsite prepare all meals with a balanced nutritional focus.
“Very few of the foods are processed,” Slaughter said. “We use whole chickens, fish and fresh fruits and vegetables, organic whenever possible. We also provide customized meals for children with special dietary needs.”
The GCDC offers plenty to parents in the way of childcare as well as support services, and it shows within the walls of their facility.
“I see Garnero CDC as a unique and valuable asset to Pierce College, where we strive to provide a high quality environment that supports the growth and development of the children,” Slaughter said, “where families, staff and the community as a whole can come together to engage in learning as a collaborate process.”
The GCDC is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Parents can contact the Garnero Child Development Center at (253) 864-3302 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
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